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Summary

  1. The Commons began at 09.30 GMT with questions to the Business ministerial team.
  2. There were three urgent questions scheduled for today - on undercover policing, on the Penrose inquiry and on changes to today's business.
  3. A bid to change the way the Speaker is elected was defeated amid emotional scenes, following an urgent question where William Hague was accused of springing the debate on Parliament
  4. The main business of the day was a series of valedictory speeches from departing MPs, arranged by the backbench business committee.
  5. The Lords met at 11.00 GMT for questions to ministers, after which peers considered the Finance Bill, passed yesterday by the Commons.
  6. Two of today's Commons urgent questions were repeated as statements and peers held a debate on immigration detention in the UK.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Goodbye...for now

House of Commons

Parliament

Bercow and Robin Fell
BBC

Speaker John Bercow, who narrowly survived a tactical vote of confidence today, shakes hands with the retiring principle doorkeeper Robin Fell.

And that brings to an end the 55th Parliament.

We hope to see you again for the 56th Parliament following the May General Election - in whatever form it may take.

Picture: exchanging pleasantries?

House of Commons

Parliament

Hague and Bercow
BBC
Perhaps Mr Speaker is wishing William Hague a happy birthday - he is 54 years old today

Hand shakes

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs are now ceremonially shaking hands with the Speaker: for many retiring MPs their last action in the House of Commons.

'Queen's speech' revisited

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow reads the "Queen's speech" for the benefit of any MPs who didn't attend the House of Lords.

Once the speech is finished Mr Speaker traditionally shakes hands with remaining MPs, which today includes Leader of the House William Hague.

John Bercow
BBC

Commons speech

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow
BBC

The announcement is made to both Houses and the Speaker of the House of Commons and MPs are now filing back to the Commons to hear the same announcement read out by Mr Speaker, John Bercow.

Prorogued until dissolution

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Stowell announces that Parliament will be prorogued until Monday, which is the day of the dissolution of the Parliament elected in 2010.

After that, there will be officially no more MPs, just general election candidates.

@timsculthorpe

PA's Parliamentary Editor Tim Sculthorpe ‏tweets: That's all folks. Bercow will see MPs off in the Commons then it's all election, all the time.

Her Majesty's speech

House of Lords

Parliament

The Leader of the Lords, Conservative peer Baroness Stowell of Beeston, reads the Queen's speech, "in Her Majesty's own words" signalling the prorogation of parliament.

However, it begins with mention of "a long-term plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society", which sounds more like the words of the coalition's front bench.

The announcement sets out the major bills passed during the 2014-15 session and also describes other significant measures taken by the government.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston
BBC

'La Reine le veult'

House of Lords

Parliament

The Clerk of the Parliaments David Beamish
BBC
The Clerk of the Parliaments David Beamish announces Royal assent of bills passed in the parliament using the Norman French phrase "La Reine le veult" - the Queen desires it

‏@cripeswatson

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent, BBC News

The mobile phone going off a daringly 21st century addition to ancient ceremony of prorogation @bbcdemlive

‏@ayestotheright

Journalist Tony Grew tweets: Norman French time #prorogation

Royal assent

House of Lords

Parliament

And so the process of granting royal assent to various bills begins.

Royal assent is the Queen's formal agreement to make a bill into an Act of Parliament.

Prorogation

House of Lords

Parliament

The Clerk of the Parliament David Beamish is signalling the prorogation of parliament by an announcement, read in the House of Lords, of the bills in this parliament.

@cripeswatson

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent, BBC News

If you're watching prorogation on BBC Parliament ( @bbcdemlive ) look out for when MPs return to HoC for final handshake w Speaker

Black Rod in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

Black Rod
BBC

Black Rod, the ceremonial head of security in the House of Lords, is sent to the House of Commons to retrieve MPs.

Traditionally the door to the Commons is slammed in Black Rod's face as a display of the independence of the Commons from the Lords, and Black Rod must knock on the Door with his ebony mace - or black rod - to and ask to enter the Commons.

MPs file out

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs file out of the Commons chamber to join peers in the House of Lords, having been summoned by Black Rod.

MPs
BBC

Royal commissioners arrive

House of Lords

Parliament

The royal commissioners take their places: Labour's Lord Hunt of King's Heath, Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza, Leader of the Lords Baroness Stowell, Lib Dem Lord Newby and the convenor of the crossbench peers, Lord Laming.

Royal commissioners
BBC

What is a prorogation?

The end of the Parliamentary session is known as prorogue, or prorogation, and it involves a few odd actions and Norman French being spoken in Westminster.

The MPs are summoned the the House of Lords to hear the monarch's assent to various bills, which is shown by the use of the phrase, La Reine le veult - the Queen desires it - being repeated.

Royal assent and prorogation

House of Lords

Parliament

The scene is set in the Lords as peers await the arrival of royal commissioners.

House of Lords
BBC

Prorogation of Parliament

House of Commons

Parliament

Our live coverage of the prorogation of Parliament begins. Click the tab at the top of the page to watch the our live prorogation programme on BBC Parliament.

House adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that the House of Commons adjourns until 17.00 GMT. Rejoin us then when our live coverage of the prorogation begins.

'Restoring the reputation of the House'

House of Commons

Parliament

William Hague says that given "the brilliance" of all of the retiring MPs, "it is a wonder how they will carry on without us".

Offering future Parliaments some advice, he says that "the reputation of this House can be restored" by a display of sincerity, which he says he sees in all his colleagues from across the House.

MPs standing down

House of Commons

Parliament

A total of 86 MPs have announced their intention to stand down, according to

BBC Analysis and Research.

That might seem like a lot, out of a total of 650 MPs.

However, it is a long way short of the total in 2010 when 149 MPs headed for the exit in the biggest Commons clear-out in history, in the wake of the expenses scandal.

William Hague
BBC News
A much younger William Hague

Hague's final word

House of Commons

Parliament

William Hague is back at the despatch box - did he ever leave today? - responding to the debate, in what will be his last speech in the House of Commons after 25 years as an MP.

Possibly sidestepping earlier controversies, Mr Hague says he will dedicate his speech to mentioning "one thing" about as many of the people who have spoken in this debate as possible.

Happy birthday Mr Hague

House of Commons

Parliament

After today's high drama, shadow leader of the house Angela Eagle wishes William Hague a happy birthday, as she winds up the debate for Labour.

"I suspect he's had rather happier birthdays than today," she says to a nodding Mr Hague.

William Hague
BBC

@ayestotheright

Journalist Tony Grew tweets: today is @WilliamJHague's birthday. @angelaeagle says she hopes the day gets better for him

Conservatives help defeat government

House of Commons

Parliament

According to the Press Association, 23 Tories and 10 Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the government, forcing it into a Commons defeat over a plan to change the procedure for re-electing the Speaker to a secret ballot when Parliament returns after the election.

'Rebalancing constituencies'

House of Commons

Parliament

Liberal Democracy MP David Heath says that when he first became an MP many of his contemporaries thought it was "quaint" that he insisted on returning to his constituency at weekends.

He says this no longer the case "and 99% of MPs these days" work hard for their constituencies.

However, he thinks government work is taking precedence and there needs to be a "rebalance".

'Better place'

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP and former universities minister David Willetts gets to his feet to say he thinks Britain is a "better place" than when he entered the Commons in 1992.

He says there are always problems to be solved and "our social conscience is restless".

But he pays tribute to Conservative governments for "strengthening the economy" and says Tony Blair's government was responsible for making the country a "more and relaxed tolerant nation than in 1997".

He concludes his remarks by saying he has "no doubt the young dynamic members of Parliament will also be making our country a better place".

'Soft spot' for Bercow

House of Commons

Parliament

David Hamilton
BBC

Labour MP for Midlothian since 2001, David Hamilton, had been in London only three times before he became an MP - and one of those times "there were police horses outside and I was trying to attack [the houses of parliament]."

He tells MPs that John Bercow helped him find a boarding house when he first came to London as an MP and could not find a place to stay. "I've always had a soft spot for you since then," he tells the Speaker.

Adjournment

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords has now adjourned until 17:00 GMT to await the arrival of royal commissioners.

Then, royal assent and prorogation will take place.

More female staff for Yarl's Wood

House of Lords

Parliament

Home Office Minister Lord Bates, replying to the debate, claims "one of the issues" at Yarl's Wood has been the proportion of female detainees.

He says it is right that the number of female staff has been increased, with ministers aiming for the proportion to reach 60%.

Lord Bates first announced the plan to

appoint more women at Yarl's Wood in February, after complaints of "inappropriate behaviour" by male staff towards female asylum seekers.

Lord Bates
BBC

@heidi_mp

Labour MP Heidi Alexander tweets: We've had the best & worst of the Commons today. Feel very privileged to now be listening to some great speeches from retiring colleagues.

Yarl's Wood

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Smith of Basildon is making the closing speech for Labour in the immigration detention debate.

She says she is "disappointed" with the government's response to allegations of abuse at Yarl's Wood detention centre.

Earlier this month,

two members of staff at the centre were suspended after an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News.

The incident led to an

urgent question in the Commons on 3 March.

Secretly filmed footage by Channel 4 News inside Yarl's Wood
Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News secretly filmed footage inside Yarl's Wood

@timsculthorpe

PA's Parliamentary Editor Tim Sculthorpe tweets: Just four Liberal Democrats joined 198 Tories in the aye Lobby as they slipped to a 26 vote defeat. ‏

Labour MP bids farewell

House of Commons

Parliament

On to Nick Raynsford, the Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, who also suggests ideas for the reform of the Commons and politics in general.

Nick Raynsford
BBC

Sir John's last words

House of Commons

Parliament

Now Sir John Stanley, the MP for Tonbridge and Malling, has served as Conservative MP since 1974.

He has served as a minister and on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was also Parliamentary Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher during her time as Leader of the Opposition.

Tessa Jowell leaving

House of Commons

Parliament

Dame Tessa Jowell bids goodbye to the Commons.

Labour's former

culture secretary is planning to run for mayor of London in 2016.

The MP was first elected to Parliament in 1992; and was a key figure behind the London bid for the 2012 Olympics.

She announced in November 2013 she would stand down as an MP at the 2015 general election.

'Genuinely last resort'

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Baroness Lister of Burtersett argues that "deprivation of liberty for the purpose of immigration control [should be] a genuinely last resort".

She also argues that "women who were victims of rape and sexual violence should not be detained".

Baroness Lister is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, which produced the

report on immigration detention in conjunction with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees.

‏@PickardJE

Financial Times's Jim Pickard tweets: Bercow tells Jack Straw that he "leaves this place a highly regarded figure"....